Hodgkinson’s 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Houston Texans seek a savior in C.J. Stroud

With the college football season upon us, our latest 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft examines the possibilities that next April may hold.

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With the college football season just two weeks away, it’s time to consider the ramifications that Saturdays have on Sundays with another 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

This time of year is a magical one, with fans of every college program believing their team can make a run to the national championship and NFL fans knowing that this year is their year to win the Super Bowl. The possibilities are endless, and that’s how we like to approach the NFL draft at this time of year.

2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round 1

The order for this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft is taken from the reverse Super Bowl odds. We don’t necessarily think that your team isn’t great, but Vegas definitely does. That said, the Houston Texans are on the clock with the first overall pick.

1) Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

There continues to be positive noise coming out of preseason camp regarding the performance of current Texans QB Davis Mills. However, if Houston holds the dubious honor of selecting first next April, as they do in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft, then it’s fair to say that the franchise will be eyeing their next signal-caller in a talented class.

For me, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is the most talented of this encouraging QB class. Overcoming a relatively rocky start to his college career, the redshirt freshman threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns. Phew, that’s a fair few fours. He boasts the size, arm strength, and creation capacity to be a success early in his NFL career. Technical proficiency, accuracy, and mental fortitude make him a worthy first overall selection.

2) Atlanta Falcons: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

When conducting this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft for the Atlanta Falcons, their situation brings to mind that of the Washington Commanders in the 2020 NFL Draft. While we’ve yet to see if Marcus Mariota can rekindle his early career form or if Desmond Ridder can get the job done in the NFL, a selection this early smacks of QB desperation. They hope they won’t be in a position to snag a signal-caller this early for some time.

Yet, like the Commanders on the clock with the second overall pick in 2020, here sits probably the best player in the entire draft, spurned for a position of need by the Texans. Despite the selection of several pass rushers in the spring, the dominant Will Anderson Jr. provides the Falcons with the truly elite edge player they’ve needed for an eternity. With athleticism, power, and elite hand usage, Anderson is an NFL monster in waiting.

3) Detroit Lions: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Detroit Lions punted on last year’s murky quarterback class in favor of strengthening their defense and surrounding incumbent QB Jared Goff with additional weaponry. A third overall selection next April will almost certainly see a change under center for Dan Campbell’s offense, with a convenient out in the former Los Angeles Rams QB’s contract.

In leading a “rebuilding” Alabama to the national championship, Bryce Young showed all the qualities of a top-level NFL quarterback. Boasting the arm strength to drive the ball downfield, he also makes passes with unerring accuracy. He’s demonstrated the ability to extend outside the pocket, while his poise behind the line showcases an old head on young shoulders. Rekindling the Young-to-Jameson Williams connection is an exciting prospect.

4) New York Jets: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

While rumors continued to swirl of a disconnect between the New York Jets and franchise left tackle Mekhi Becton, the former first-round pick suffered a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for the season. Missing what was shaping up to be a “prove-it” year may force the Jets to pull the trigger on a long-term replacement when they head to the podium next April. A recent two-year deal for Duane Brown shouldn’t alter that mindset.

In an offensive tackle class that lacks the depth of top-tier talent from last year, there is a clear OT1 early in the process. Remarkably, it’s a player who has made his money on the interior during the first two seasons of his college career. Paris Johnson Jr. will reprise his high school role as an offensive tackle for Ohio State this season. He has the measurables — 6’6″, 315 pounds, 35.5″ arms –, athleticism, power, and football intelligence to dominate this season and cement his place as the first OL off the board.

5) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

If you’re the Jacksonville Jaguars and want Trevor Lawrence to succeed, you will have to do better than the currently assembled wide receiver room. With all due respect to the players occupying that room, there isn’t a single pass catcher that immediately jumps out as a consistent game changer, regardless of what they’re paying Christian Kirk.

Lawrence needs a target who can dominate, and in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft, they’ve found one. While other big-name receivers dominate the early conversation, don’t sleep on TCU’s Quentin Johnston. Boasting a huge frame and elite catch radius to get the job done on the boundary, the Horned Frogs standout has deceptive athleticism to pose as an after-the-catch threat.

6) Carolina Panthers: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

There are a multitude of ways that the Carolina Panthers could turn if they’re sitting on the clock at sixth overall next spring. Neither Baker Mayfield nor Sam Darnold will be under contract. Matt Corral has shown some spark in training camp, but he’s far from a guarantee to be the long-term answer under center. Meanwhile, there’s a clear need to upgrade the wide receiver corps, and two of the best pass catchers in the class are still available.

Amongst a swirling sea of uncertainty, adopting the best player available approach is the sensible decision for the Panthers. Jalen Carter is a constant threat in all phases of the game. His combination of high-level athletic ability, incredible power and violence, and a pass-rush toolbox already brimming with moves, should give Carolina a dynamic duo at the heart of the defensive front, freeing up the likes of Brian Burns to do even more damage.

7) New York Giants: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Come on, Daniel Jones; your time is up. The New York Giants upgraded their offensive line while securing additional offensive weaponry to finally answer the question of whether they truly have a franchise leader in the former Duke quarterback. Consecutive selections in the top 10 of the NFL draft provide a fairly resounding conclusion and sound a death knoll for Jones’ tenure under center in MetLife Stadium.

Will Levis is a polarizing prospect at this point in the process. The first overall pick talk is ridiculous. Nevertheless, his arm talent is impressive, with the strength to hit the deep third and velocity to get the ball into tight windows. Meanwhile, Levis’ off-script creativity is enticing, with impressive athleticism for his size. You’re unlikely to see the Kentucky QB slip while unabated to the end zone, avoiding banana skin situations by simply eating the skin.

8) Chicago Bears: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

If the Chicago Bears front office allows Roquan Smith to pursue a trade as he’s requested, there may be a temptation to seek a replacement in the 2023 NFL Draft. They’re in a position to snag one of the top linebacker prospects here, and an early assessment suggests that the drop-off from the two front runners is significant if you’re looking for a player to replace the level of play that Smith brings to the table.

However, it’s time that the Chicago Bears actually support Justin Fields as the future of the franchise. That means surrounding him with star receivers and providing him with protection. The latter comes, well, later, but reuniting Fields with former teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba takes care of the biggest issue. Incredible catch-point prowess and a knack for creating easy separation have some inside the Buckeyes calling him the best WR the program has produced in recent years.

9) Seattle Seahawks: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

After deciding to let Russ cook in someone else’s kitchen, the Seattle Seahawks are the proud owners of two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. It would be fair to assume that they’ll strike for a quarterback with one of them, especially if they’re selecting this early. With Stroud, Young, and Levis already off the board — and another first-round pick to come — they exercise patience rather than reaching for a QB at this point.

When you think of the best Seahawks teams of the Pete Carroll era, you think of suffocating and ferocious defenses. That is exactly what they’ll have if they strike for Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell. Although there are some improvements to be made in the coverage element of Sewell’s game, there are few scarier sights than the 6’3″, 250-pound linebacker flying into the backfield. He’s explosive, fast, and ludicrously physical.

10) Washington Commanders: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Like the Seahawks, the Washington Commanders are in something of a “no man’s land” when it comes to the QB position in this mock draft. With Sam Howell squirreled away from last year’s class, there’s no urgency to overdraft. Carson Wentz is still under contract, although there is an out in 2023 if the Commanders want to cut bait. The defense is the team’s strength, so which way do they turn in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Despite their pass catchers comprising Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel, the Commanders could seek to add further weaponry to their receiving group in the form of Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer. A physical but athletic force boasting ridiculous catch-point ability, Mayer would upgrade any NFL offense with his ability to align across the formation and impact both the pass and run games.

11) Pittsburgh Steelers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

With the Pittsburgh Steelers investing money in their current wide receiver group, and a lack of top-tier offensive tackle talent in this 2023 NFL Draft class, the main offensive needs may be difficult to match with the 11th overall selection. Flipping to the defensive side, both cornerback and safety may be considered next April.

While Myles Murphy might not be a perfect scheme fit, taking a player of his outstanding talent and figuring out the finer details of where he plays later is an extremely smart move. He’s a powerful people mover at the point of attack who has the athleticism to provide a danger to anyone. The Clemson edge is an early feature on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List:

“Murphy bench-presses 405 pounds, power-cleans 335, and deadlifts 505. He also has vertical-jumped 35 inches, broad-jumped 10 feet and consistently clocked in the high 4.5s in the 40, according to Clemson coaches.”

12) Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

The presumed motive behind the Philadelphia Eagles’ trade of one of their three first-round picks last April was that they’d position themselves for a quarterback next April. While that might be the case, the oddsmakers clearly feel that Jalen Hurts might not do a bad enough job this upcoming season, once again placing themselves in a strange QB purgatory in the mid-range of the first round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

Although they added James Bradberry on a one-year deal, the Eagles still need to add a long-term playmaker in the secondary. Kelee Ringo could be that playmaker for them. At 6’2″ and 205 pounds, Ringo boasts NFL size and length. He’s an incredible athlete for his size, with the speed and fluidity that you would expect from a smaller cornerback. With physicality and catch-point ability, Ringo could be the CB1 of the 2023 NFL Draft class.

13) Philadelphia Eagles: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are both out of contract at the end of the season. It seems unlikely that they’ll keep both defensive tackles, especially with the selection of Jordan Davis last year.

Adding a dominant interior defensive piece like Bryan Bresee will secure the heart of the defensive line for years to come. At 6’5″ and 300 pounds, the Clemson DT boasts a size that is assisted by great length and weaponized by a power that wreaks havoc on his opponent.

14) New England Patriots: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

It’s early August. Yet, it already feels like the New England Patriots will have similar draft needs to the ones they had mere months ago. The addition of Tyquan Thornton and DeVante Parker might not set the NFL on fire, but it may just preclude the Patriots from tipping their toes in the first-round wide receiver waters.

Although they added the unrelated Jack and Marcus Jones in April, the Patriots could use some star talent at the cornerback position. That’s exactly what South Carolina’s Cam Smith is. He boasts size, length, and vertical explosion to be a nightmare at the catch point for opposing wide receivers. Meanwhile, he possesses the physicality to mix it up in the NFL.

15) Las Vegas Raiders: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

If there was one takeaway to be had from the Hall of Fame Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders, it’s that Josh Jacobs’ time in Allegiant Stadium is up. With the team declining his fifth-year option already, we might not have even needed that clear indicator. However, you don’t play that many snaps in a meaningless exhibition game if you’re assured of being the lead back.

Although Zamir White is poised for a significant chunk of action this year, the selection of Texas running back Bijan Robinson in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft gives the Raiders an offensive weapon in the backfield. He has the size, strength, and grit to be a workhorse back while possessing the vision and creativity to break off chunk plays with disturbing regularity. He also boasts excellent pass-catching skills and physicality as a blocker.

16) Tennessee Titans: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

As we prepare for the 2022 NFL season, it would appear that the biggest potential needs for the Tennessee Titans will be linebacker, safety, and EDGE when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around. Currently projected to be picking 16th overall, there’s a player still on the board that could fulfill all of those roles.

Swiss Army knife. Chess piece. Utility man. Whatever you want to call Trenton Simpson, just call him on the first night of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Clemson defensive dynamo combines eye-popping athleticism, exciting explosive capability, and strength beyond his slender frame to be an enforcer in all three phases of the game and from multiple alignments.

17) Indianapolis Colts: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Although the Indianapolis Colts selected former Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann last spring, their left tackle situation is far from resolved. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them use their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to upgrade the position, and Broderick Jones has the potential to emerge as the “best of the rest” behind Ohio State’s Johnson. He’s equal parts violence and athleticism, with his best football still to come.

18) Minnesota Vikings: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

The Minnesota Vikings continue their affinity for LSU receivers by snagging a falling star in Kayshon Boutte. With game-changing explosion and play speed as a genuine after-the-catch threat, the LSU pass catcher can also create separation with excellent route running and movement skills.

The only question mark over his stock, causing something of a slide in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft, is how he rebounds from a season-ending injury last fall.

19) Arizona Cardinals: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

Although a large percentage of the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line is out of contract at the end of the year, there are more pressing concerns to be addressed on the defensive side of the ball.

Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes gives them a defensive playmaker who possesses the length, vertical athleticism, quick footwork, and route recognition to be a lockdown CB in the NFL. Meanwhile, he plays with a physicality beyond his slender frame to alleviate any size concerns that NFL teams may have with a 180-pound CB.

20) Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Lamar Jackson has a difficult enough time proving himself as a legitimate passing QB in the eyes of some media outlets without having to do so with a receiving group that just lost a significant piece in Hollywood Brown.

The Baltimore Ravens offense is screaming out for a three-level threat, and the selection of Jordan Addison — the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner — does just that. Addison can stretch the field with explosive speed while possessing the ability to challenge at the catch point.

21) Cincinnati Bengals: Antonio Johnson, CB, Texas A&M

In the midst of a contract conundrum with their best defensive player — Jessie Bates III — the Cincinnati Bengals could actually lose multiple elements of their secondary next spring. While they pre-empted some of those losses in the previous draft, adding a versatile and highly talented secondary standout like Antonio Johnson would help mitigate those losses.

At 6’3″ and 200 pounds, Johnson has the size to play at any spot despite a high nickel usage for Texas A&M. Blessed with speed and length, he’s a stalwart on the back end.

22) Houston Texans (from CLE): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

In previous mock-draft editions, I’ve had the Texans select Alabama’s Anderson with the first pick. If they’re to return to a defensive force in the AFC South, they need to find an impact maker off the edge. Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey can be just that. He certainly left his mark on several quarterbacks last season, with the size, power, motor, and length to consistently make plays as a dominant pass rusher.

23) Dallas Cowboys: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

Injuries to James Washington and Michael Gallup have highlighted deficiencies within the Dallas Cowboys’ WR room. While CeeDee Lamb and Jalen Tolbert can carry the load, it would be advantageous to avoid a repeat of this pass-catching calamity next season by securing a game-changing weapon like North Carolina’s Josh Downs.

His speed, explosion, and agility make him adept at turning short passes into big gains. Meanwhile, he can take the top off a defense in devastating style.

24) Los Angeles Chargers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Adding a versatile offensive lineman in the form of Zion Johnson in the last cycle was a wise move from the Los Angeles Chargers. However, they’re still in need of a long-term answer at right tackle.

They find it in this 2023 2-Round NFL Mock Draft in the form of Tennessee grizzly bear Darnell Wright. Experienced on both bookends, Wright boasts prototypical NFL OT size and length and blends violence with power while possessing the athleticism to be a force at the second level in the ground game.

25) Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

As mentioned earlier, the Seattle Seahawks are going to be in the quarterback market next spring. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are both out of contract, and neither have the NFL tape that suggests they can be the answer at QB. That’s not to say Anthony Richardson does either … yet.

However, his enticing athletic profile for his 6’4″, 236-pound frame and genuine howitzer for an arm are the sort of physical tools that can be developed this year at Florida with a view to being a potential first-round quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.

26) Miami Dolphins: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Having invested heavily in offensive pieces this offseason, the Miami Dolphins — now with just one first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft — turn their attention to the defense in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft.

Pairing the athletic — if not a little undersized — Nolan Smith with Jaelan Phillips would give Miami a dangerous one-two pass-rush punch. He’s strong, explosive, and possesses the bend capacity to embarrass NFL offensive tackles for fun.

27) Green Bay Packers: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

With David Bakhtiari still battling the effects of a torn ACL suffered more than 18 months ago, it might be time for the Green Bay Packers to consider their long-term future. The selections of Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker last spring suggest the thought process is already there.

Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron is likely to be an ascending prospect in this 2023 NFL Draft class. He has the size and length of an NFL tackle. Meanwhile, his power and violence are eye-popping, with the footwork to mirror pass rushers at a high level.

28) Detroit Lions (from LAR): Justin Flowe, LB, Oregon

Justin Flowe has become a contentious prospect in online scouting circles, having played just two games in his college career for Oregon. Yes, the third-year linebacker is somewhat unproven. Yes, his selection here is heavily predicated on upside. No, it isn’t purely based on his recruiting status.

When he has been on the field, Flowe has checked all the boxes that you look for in linebacker evaluation. Size. Speed. Physicality. Explosion. Coverage capability. The Oregon LB is a 6’2″, 246-pound wrecking ball waiting to happen in a linebacker class that is screaming out for top-level talent. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait anymore to see him in full flow.

29) Kansas City Chiefs: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Although the Kansas City Chiefs added George Karlaftis and restructured Frank Clark’s contract this spring, don’t rule out them adding another pass rusher into the mix. Felix Anudike-Uzomah put together the greatest single-game performance in college football pass-rush history last fall. Yet, he’s more than just a one-off flash in the pan. The Kansas State defensive end is strong, long, and relentless in his pursuit of ball carriers and QBs.

30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (FL)

All good things have to come to an end eventually, and while betting against Tom Brady in his battle with Father Time seems ill-advised, his reign under center in Tampa Bay may not last too much longer. Are they prepared for that eventuality? Not with Kyle Trask, they’re not. Thus, I wouldn’t rule out the Buccaneers adding another QB to the roster next April.

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke impressed in his first season under center for the Hurricanes. He’s blessed with arm strength, the ability to throw from multiple arm angles, and sufficient mobility to extend plays, all while boasting NFL size at 6’4″ and 224 pounds. If he can take strides in processing and reel in some of his arm arrogance, TVD could be another first-round quarterback come April.

31) Buffalo Bills: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

With the final pick of the first round in this 2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft, the Buffalo Bills upgrade their offensive line with the selection of Peter Skoronski. I know what Bills fans are thinking. No, I don’t think you need an offensive tackle either.

Personally, I don’t see Skoronski’s NFL future on an island. Several elements of his game scream interior lineman, with the potential to even become an elite center. His anchor in pass protection, alluring athletic profile, and technical handwork should make him a success in the NFL.

2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round 2

32) Houston Texans: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

With their franchise quarterback secured in Stroud, the Texans seek to surround their new signal-caller with additional weaponry. Boston College standout Zay Flowers gives them an electric playmaker whose elite change of direction leaves even the best defensive backs in the nation with the need for new ankles.

33) Atlanta Falcons: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU

Kaleb McGary is out of contract at the end of the year, and the Falcons could use an offensive-line upgrade regardless. Inserting BYU behemoth Brake Freeland gives Atlanta an athletic tackle that can help maximize Mariota or Ridder in the ground game while providing violence and a solid anchor as a pass protector.

34) Detroit Lions: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

The Lions snag a first-round caliber cornerback in the early second round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, continuing a front-to-back upgrade of their defense under Dan Campbell. While small in stature, Clark Phillips III is big on talent. He’s an elite playmaker with impressive athleticism and a physicality that belies his diminutive frame.

35) New York Jets: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama

Considered a contender to add a linebacker in the last draft cycle, the Jets confirmed a need to bolster the room with the offseason addition of Kwon Alexander. Alabama’s Henry To’oTo’o offers them an instinctual player with high football IQ, physicality, and the attributes to be a high-level run defender in a division with a strong focus on the ground game.

36) Jacksonville Jaguars: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

Admittedly a long-term investment rather than a short-term one, Baylor nose tackle Siaki Ika can be a dominant disruptor at the heart of the Jaguars’ defensive front. It’s easy to consider the 6’4″, 358-pound powerhouse attracting distraction, and he certainly would free up Travon Walker and Josh Allen. However, he’s more than capable of bursting into the backfield himself.

37) Carolina Panthers: Cameron Ward, QB, Washington State

Ok, so we couldn’t let the Panthers get past their second pick without exploring potential quarterback options. Former Incarnate Word quarterback Cameron Ward has the potential to burst onto the FBS scene à la Bailey Zappe from one year ago. However, Ward has a more potent arm than the former Western Kentucky QB, in what promises to be a terrifying prospect for defenses across the nation.

38) New York Giants: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

While the Giants added multiple CBs last April, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them seek out further secondary reinforcements in the 2023 NFL Draft. If a cornerback of Eli Ricks‘ potential is still available, the Giants have to strike. Ricks boasts NFL size, length, explosiveness, and ball skills but needs to put it all together at Alabama this fall.

39) Chicago Bears: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

Operation “protect Justin Fields no matter what” continues with an offensive tackle who is already earning rave reviews early in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. Jaelyn Duncan has fast feet and is explosive out of his stance. And once he has you in his vice-like grip, there’s little chance of escape. Duncan is the strong, athletic type that can help Fields live up to his true NFL potential.

40) Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

With the Seahawks selecting Richardson in Round 1 of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, upgrading their offensive line with his teammate seems like a slam-dunk in the second round.

Plugging in O’Cyrus Torrence alongside Charles Cross gives Seattle one of the nastiest blindside protection pairings in the NFL. Strong, technically refined but vicious, Torrence is set to be a star this college football season.

41) Washington Commanders: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame

While they boast one of the most terrifying defensive fronts in the nation, the Commanders’ high percentage of two-linebacker usage means they need strength in the secondary. Notre Dame’s Brandon Joseph is a highly talented ball hawk in the secondary, whose football IQ ensures he’s frequently in the right place at the right time to make plays.

42) Pittsburgh Steelers: JL Skinner, S, Boise State

Terrell Edmunds is out of contract at the end of this season, and the Steelers could snatch a new safety to pair with Minkah Fitzpatrick. Boise State’s JL Skinner is a 6’4″, 220-pound heat-seeking missile, who comes downhill with ferocious intent and the physicality to be destructive on impact.

43) New Orleans Saints: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

It’s an all-new safety pairing for the Saints this season, but that shouldn’t stop them from looking for future stars in the secondary. Jordan Battle boasts the smarts, the strength, and a superb athletic profile to be the long-term succession plan for their current safety pairing of Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu.

44) Philadelphia Eagles: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU

Having missed out on an edge rusher in the first round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Eagles swoop for LSU star BJ Ojulari. While a little undersized, the LSU EDGE gives Philadelphia a speed rusher whose combination of motor and a blossoming pass-rush toolbox can give opposing offensive tackles fits. Side note, Ojulari’s arrival in Philadelphia would see him play against his brother Azeez (Giants) twice a season.

45) New England Patriots: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

There have been multiple offseason LB additions in New England, and time will tell if any of them provide the impact that previous Patriots backers have made. Someone who’s no stranger to making an impact is Ivan Pace Jr. The now-Cincinnati linebacker is a dangerous downhill enforcer with the athletic profile to make plays in coverage.

46) Las Vegas Raiders: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Having invested in a first-round RB in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Raiders better make sure that their offensive line is in order. With uncertainty about Alex Leatherwood, Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison offers the Raiders the athleticism to get creative with Robinson, while buying Derek Carr time with his ability to mirror rushers in pass protection.

47) Miami Dolphins: Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

Although it’s only mid-August, and the 2023 NFL Draft is many months away, the Dolphins are routinely linked to a particular Texas running back. While Miami misses out, the consolation prize is a productive rusher who boasts insane track speed, the ability to be elusive, and the vision to maximize his lightning-quick feet behind the line of scrimmage. Sean Tucker should be a name that Dolphins fans should familiarize themselves with.

48) Tennessee Titans: Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama

Pass-catching help for Ryan Tannehill/Malik Willis comes in the form of Alabama tight end Cameron Latu. He tied the Crimson Tide lead with eight touchdowns last fall, boasting pass-catching prowess on top of an alluring athletic profile that also showcases the understanding of winning via route manipulation. With two tight ends out of contract next year, Latu forms an exciting partnership with last April’s selection Chigoziem Okonkwo.

49) Indianapolis Colts: Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

Andre Carter II‘s Army eligibility question marks may prevent him from ever ascending this high in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, based on talent alone, he’s deserving of a Day 2 selection. An athletic anomaly at 6’7″ and 260 pounds, the Army EDGE is extremely explosive, arriving in the opposition’s backfield before the OT is even out of his stance.

50) Minnesota Vikings: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

The Vikings’ interior offensive line is far from ideal, and that’s putting it kindly. Center Garrett Bradbury has failed to live up to his first-round billing and is out of contract next year. They find his replacement here close to home with Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz. Schmitz brings a nasty streak, athleticism, and experience to the heart of the line.

51) Arizona Cardinals: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida

Powerful, strong, and long, the 6’6″ Gervon Dexter has the potential to be an absolute menace on the defensive front. Meanwhile, the 313-pound monster has rare athleticism for his size, making him a perfect candidate to slide in at any spot on the Cardinals’ defensive line. With Dexter manipulating the trenches, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins will have more opportunities to wreak havoc.

52) Baltimore Ravens: Colby Wooden, DT, Auburn

With their second-round pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Ravens secure a crucial piece for their defensive line. Capable of attacking the interior and around the outside track, Colby Wooden is an alignment versatile DT who boasts a loaded pass-rush toolbox while possessing stellar run-stopping skills.

53) Cincinnati Bengals: Layden Robinson, G, Texas A&M

Although the Bengals invested heavily in the offensive line this offseason, continuing to build protection depth for Joe Burrow is a must. Layden Robinson is a technically impressive guard prospect who also plays the game with a mauler mentality. His anchor in pass protection will be particularly comforting to the Cincinnati QB.

54) Cleveland Browns: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

Hey Cleveland Browns, welcome to this 2023 NFL Mock Draft! Minus a first-round selection as a result of the Deshaun Watson trade, the Browns are on the clock in the enviable position of being able to match a position of need, with the best player available, who also happens to be a first-round talent.

Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey will be slapped with the “undersized” moniker. Yet, he’s a technically refined and athletically exciting DT who’s as comfortable stopping the run as he is deploying his loaded toolbox to get to the QB.

55) Dallas Cowboys: Malachi Moore, CB, Alabama

While most statistics point to a stellar performance by the Dallas secondary last season, the fact they gave up the seventh-most yards after the catch suggests that reinforcements would be a solid investment. Malachi Moore boasts technical excellence, eye discipline, and the explosion to be an impact maker on the proviso that he returns to full health and his finest form.

56) Los Angeles Chargers: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas

With many Chargers fans unhappy and unimpressed with the play of former first-round linebacker Kenneth Murray, change could be afoot in Los Angeles. Swapping sides of the Red River Rivalry, the Chargers turn to DeMarvion Overshown, whose size and speed make him a downhill threat while his experience as a safety breeds coverage skills.

57) Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

It’s become something of a standing joke that the Seahawks will waste a high draft pick on an EDGE player that turns out to be no good. Yet, here in Round 2 of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, they strike gold in Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson.

The fifth-year season has the power capacity to propel his 6’6″, 275-pound mass with ludicrous explosion. Meanwhile, he’s strong, long, and dangerous to know at the point of attack.

58) San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Vorhees, G, USC

The San Francisco 49ers loaded up on UDFA interior offensive linemen, suggesting a very real and dire need to upgrade the heart of their offensive line. While fourth-rounder Spencer Burford is impressing, they could still seek to add a player with long-term potential. Andrew Vorhees enables the 49ers to get the best out of their bevy of running backs, with a vicious mentality that seeks to set the tone on every down.

59) Green Bay Packers: Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas

Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon received first-round hype last fall, but an injury setback sees him return for another season. He’s a ferocious downhill defender who combines physicality with athletic prowess to fly to the ball. Catalon’s experience manning many alignments makes him a versatile chess piece for the Packers’ secondary.

60) Los Angeles Rams: Zion Tupuola-Fetui, EDGE, Washington

If we’re being honest, the Los Angeles Rams didn’t even remotely replace the departed Von Miller this offseason. As a result, finding a top-level outside linebacker projects to be their biggest 2023 NFL Draft need.

Injuries have denied us watching Zion Tupuola-Fetui develop into one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the nation. However, we’ve seen small flashes of exceptional athleticism, disturbing violence, and disruptive length.

61) Kansas City Chiefs: Jaheim Bell, TE, South Carolina

Considered one of the top tight ends in the 2023 NFL Draft class, South Carolina’s Jaheim Bell possesses game-changing speed, explosion, and lateral agility. When you hear South Carolina offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield say, “he’s listed as a tight end but Jaheim, he’s Deebo 2.0,” you know that the fit with a creative offensive mind in Kansas City is going to produce fireworks.

62) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)

The Buccaneers return to the Hurricanes to add a much-needed playmaker to their secondary. Tyrique Stevenson might not be a household name just yet, but it’d be foolish to bet against the versatile DB from being highly sought after by next April. He’s that whirlwind of athletic traits, high-level football IQ, and scheme versatility that will be hard to ignore.

63) Buffalo Bills: Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

Speaking of things that will be hard to ignore, don’t sleep on Ruke Orhorhoro amongst the plethora of Clemson defensive line prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s a strong, agile, gap-penetrator who can slide into the defensive front at multiple alignments. Orhorhoro’s competitive toughness and relentless playstyle will make him a fan favorite in Buffalo.


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